I grew up with my own horses and I’m an experienced rider. I appreciate Pat’s (the owner’s) prompt reply to organizing the trip and that she gives you a ride to and from where they keep the ponies. It was also easy to make payments through paypal. Other than, the ponies were not kept in a good physical condition, many with wounds on them, matted fur and generally poorly looked after. Many of them were also nervous when touched and seemed overall anxious and irritable. There were several incidents with two ponies freaking out being tied up to the trees and literally hanging by the reins almost strangling themselves.
We did the two hour beach ride, which only included a 10 minute ride on the beach. The rest of the ride took place mainly on non-scenic roads and through a small village.
Two days later I tried out a local horse ranger in the town of Sayulita named Alalberto which was an amazing experience. The cost is the same as Painted Ponies, but it’s cash only. You can find him where the river that goes through town meets the ocean. He’s there most days and ties up his horses next to the river in the morning. He sometimes walks the beach to advertise, which is how I found him. He doesn’t have a website and I’ve misplaced his business card, but he also comes with great recommendations for organizing local fishing and surf trips. Anyway, I did a two hour beach ride which took us through the town of Sayulita, along the main beach, up the mountain through a really neat rain forest to an amazing lookout of the coastline, then down to another beautiful large secluded beach and back again. Plenty of beach time. There was a 7 year old girl with us on the trip as well, and I would recommend it as being child friendly. His horses are very well looked after and you can tell how much he cares for them and how relaxed they are, so all levels should be comfortable taking this tour. He will do longer and customized tours as well. I met a couple who did a sunset tour the previous day and they loved it. He’s super friendly and grew up in Sayulita so he can tell you all you wish to know about the local area as well as giving you a truly memorable horseback riding experience. I highly recommend his tours!
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